Last Tango in Paris

So much to see and so little time, the last day in Paris began at Jardin du Luxembourg. The statues that surround the extensive gardens give tribute to female heroism and accomplishment. Every important female deity is represented and stands watch over the lush gardens and ponds.
Children play in the ponds and drink in the French love of beauty. How do we live anywhere in the world without all these lovely parks and gardens?

With only hours left, it was time to do some serious shopping. We started on Ile de Cite. Many bohemian shops and stores are squeezed onto this picturesque street. At one point a little dog, making a dash while no one was looking, ran hell bent 5 doors down from his owner’s gallery. He lifted his little leg and marked the edge of his territory then scruffed his tiny paws as if to say, “so take that!”. The offended shop keeper poked her head out to the narrow door way and shouted at le petit chein, who obviously made a habit of this type of Napoleonic-social behavior. Little man syndrome over and over again. He ran, tail held high, back into his own shop and looked, for all the world, like a child that had stole a cookie from a baker. He nonchalantly sauntered back in as his owner scolded, come in here, don’t you wander away. He gave one last look in the street and scratched one last time with his little paws as he entered his own abode in mock obedience. ” I own this street,” his smug little countenance said, loud and clear.
We bought scarves and French milled soaps and drank in the European morning. But I had bigger fish to fry and dragged my wonderful man in the direction of Dior. Along the way we spotted an exhibit to the designer Pierre Cardin. A man came to the window of the shop, opened the door and encouraged me to take a picture properly. “These,” he reassured, “are current creations.” Just a lucky find, one of so many in this wonderful city. We even passed a tailor, who had taken the time (the French must either stay up all night or have more hours in the day than we do), to “dress” several miniature mannequins and display them in the window of her narrow shop. Sigh, the French, so in love with the beautiful.

And finally, the last of my wishes, not so little this time, to shop in the Essence of French design and couture: Dior. I took a deep breath and entered another world. Everything was signature white and lit from the floor to make the entire store look as if it were from the perpetual future. It was a nearly untouchable place. But kindly salesmen, so adept at getting the Americans to spend their money, ridiculously, found me butter cream handbags, wallets and key rings to try. I preened, as they all must, those foolish Americans who are paying the tax, in front of the 12 foot mirrors. I love them, I love them all, I sighed inwardly. This is like going to see a litter of puppies and only being allowed to choose one. I need air, but not outside, no, I need to go upstairs, so with the patience of a saint, he waited while I, as if sprouting wings of an angel (I felt like I was in heaven), ascended the glass stair. Cinderella, Cinderella, I kept thinking, like a mantra, this is how she felt. The ready to wear was more exquisite that the advertising in Vogue magazine could ever show. I fell in love with dresses covered with the flowers of Versailles, blouses, the fabric of the summer sky. With the heady feeling of a debutante in post prom glow, I floated downstairs and promptly bought the most impractical white Cannage wallet for some outrageous amount. My souvenir of Paris. My souvenir of style, of abundance, of desire. This is what Paris does to us all. We fall in love with it all. We fall in love.

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Last Tango in Paris — 2 Comments

  1. I am so glad you like the postings. It is wonderful to put into words what I felt when I was there, it makes it last forever.

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